Area Teenagers Get It In Gear When BEST Robotics Competition Kicks Off At UC Sept. 25

UC is once again holding the BEST robotics competition for junior high and high school students, beginning with the kick-off Saturday, Sept. 25, from 10 am. to 12:30 p.m. The kick-off will be held in the Tangeman University Center (TUC) Great Hall on UC’s main campus.

The BEST competition is an annual collaboration between UC’s College of Applied Science and College of Engineering. The

BEST program

, which takes place on a national basis, is designed to promote teamwork, problem solving, project management and pride in task completion within a short time with limited resources. This year Kentucky will be represented for the first time, through the participation of Scott County High School from Georgetown.

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At the kick-off, UC will provide all materials — boxes containing nuts, bolts, wheels, motor parts and other sundry useful items — to the competing schools. At that time, the teachers and students will also see the game floor and hear the year’s goals for the first time. The teams are then given six weeks to design and test their robots. Mentors from UC and area professionals are teamed up with the schools to provide guidance and answer questions, but the students themselves must build the robot.

The competition is multifold: the robots are tested with a series of skilled tasks that must be completed. The students also compete in presenting descriptions of their robots and the building process. Unlike some popular television shows, any contact between the robots must be accidental. One-on-one attacks between robots, students or mentors are strongly discouraged.

 

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The 2003 challenge, called “Transfusion Confusion,” entailed moving red and white balloons (representing blood cells) from one bin to another, among other tasks.

Cheryll Dunn, associate dean in the college of Applied Science, and Ed Prather, assistant dean in the College of Engineering, are co-coordinators of UC’s BEST competition and encourage area students to participate.

“With a little persistence and determination and a whole lot of cooperation, you, too, can be your best,” says Prather. “I hope to see you this fall!”

“Mall Day” will take place on Oct. 30, at a Cincinnati location to be named later. At this time, the teams will get a chance for a practice run with their robots on the game floor.

“Game Day” this year will take place on Nov. 6. That’s when the students’ efforts are put to the test. In 2003 every competing team won an award.

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The winners of the 2004 UC competition go on to compete at the regional level at Auburn University in Alabama on Nov. 19 and 20. In 2003,

Lakota West and Roger Bacon

high schools represented Cincinnati at the regional competition at Auburn. Hughes Center, Mt. Healthy, Ursuline Academy, Hamilton and Western Hills high schools also participated in 2003.

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For  more information, contact Christine Johnson at

christine.johnson@uc.edu

or (513) 556-1164.

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